In the late industrial era—1950s through 1990s—the name of the game was economies of scale. The food industry was part of this trend. Along with scale came standardization of manufacturing, new chemicals for preservatives, and a general standardization of everything—what we ate and what we used.
But a new generation of companies and consumers is now in vogue. Consumers are looking for organic, rich taste, fresh, and from trusted sources. This trend, once considered a minor fringe of the food industry, is the hottest growth segment—spawning a new generation of companies with new management techniques and new technologies—and is forcing old ones to rethink how they work and what they sell.
Competing and getting products to market is no small feat. Big companies have big advantages in transportation, shelf space, and market presence. In order to manage their enterprise and reach global markets, these small but growing companies are playing a new advantage card by leveraging the latest in technologies and business practices to capture the advantages big companies have.
To understand this new food market, we interviewed several innovative companies who have embraced technology in order to achieve these goals.